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September 09, 2011 - Field Notes

Noteworthy News from the Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources

Significant Notes

  • Recent Rockland County Deer Deaths Diagnosed.
    DEC has confirmed that the death of approximately 100 white-tailed deer reported two weeks ago in the Town of Clarkstown, Rockland County was caused by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD). EHD is a virus that is transmitted to white-tailed deer by a biting midge, commonly known as a "no-see-um" or "punkie." The virus was last confirmed in New York in 2007 and does not infect humans. DEC asks the public to report any sightings of sick or dying deer to the nearest DEC Regional Office or to an Environmental Conservation Officer. Check out the DEC Press Release for more details on this recent EHD occurrence.
  • Trail and Campground Closures Follow Hurricane Irene.
    Due to damage caused by Hurricane Irene, and more recently, Tropical Storm Lee, many trails and roads leading to the trails are closed across the Catskills and Eastern Adirondacks for safety measures. Advisories for these closures are on the Adirondack Advisories page on the DEC website or on the Catskill Advisories (link leaves DEC website) page on the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference website. This information along with details on cleaning and disposing of debris is located on the DEC Safety and Cleanup Information web-page.
  • Major Rainfall Events Trigger Shellfish Harvest Closures.
    As of September 8, 2011, shellfishing in harvest areas within the Towns of North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Shelter Island, and East Hampton are temporarily closed. For details on closure areas, visit our Temporary Emergency Shellfish Closures web-page. To receive the most up to date information, call our Shellfish Closure Hotline at 631-444-0480, or check out our new Google Earth application that displays the closure areas around Long Island. These areas are currently prohibited through September 15. Please ensure they are officially open before going harvesting.

Noteworthy Dates

  • September 17: Help Cleanup New York's Shores
    volunteers clean up the shore ~Photograph courtesy of American Littoral Society~

    Join thousands of other volunteers to pick up litter polluting the shores of our rivers, creeks, bays, lakes, and oceans by participating in the 26th Annual International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by the American Littoral Society. Visit the American Littoral Society website for cleanup information and site locations (link leaves DEC website), or you can also organize and set up your own clean-up site by calling 718-474-2643 or e-mailing alsbeach@nyc.rr.com.
    In 2010, 9,235 volunteers, coordinated by the American Littoral Society, cleaned and documented 186,582 pounds of debris along 397.5 miles of New York State's shoreline!

Laws & Rule-making

  • New Law Changes for Big Game Hunting:
    Allows Rifle Use in Three New Counties and Changes Crossbow Use in Cortland County.
    Hunters in the counties of Cortland, Wyoming and Chautauqua (south of Route 20) can now use rifles to hunt deer and bear during the regular big game hunting seasons starting November 19. These three areas join many other counties across the State where big game rifle hunting has already been permitted. Additionally, in Cortland County only, crossbows will not be permitted during the regular season; yet, they may be used during the muzzleloader deer season starting December 12. View a map displaying Rifle, Shotgun, and Bow Areas for each county and more detailed information.
Please note: This law change, along with the new antler restrictions set in Delaware, Sullivan and Ulster counties are not included in the hardcopy version of the 2011-12 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide, but are reflected in the electronic version (link below). You can also view brief highlights of recent hunting rule changes online.

View the 2011-12 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide Online.

This guide features information and articles on:

- Highlights of Changes
- Crossbow Hunting
- Hunting and Trapping Participation
- Deer Management on Private Land
- Wildlife Research
- Law Enforcement Q&A
- Regional Maps
- Sunrise/Sunset Table
- And More!

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

Please keep in mind that you will need a 2010-11 hunting license through September 30, and a 2011-12 hunting license beginning October 1.

-Youth Hunts (Ages 12-15)-

  • Youth Waterfowl Hunt:
    (ducks, Canada geese, coots, mergansers, brants):
    • September 17-18 in both the Northeastern and Southeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zones (view map of hunting zones)
    • September 24-25 in the Lake Champlain Waterfowl Hunting Zone (view map of hunting zones)
  • Youth Pheasant Hunt:
    • September 24-25 in eastern areas of the State (view map of pheasant hunting areas).

-Big Game Hunting-

  • September 17: Early Bear Hunting Season Opens in the Adirondacks.
    For this season, hunters may use a bow (with appropriate bowhunting eligibility), muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun, rifle or crossbow. Please remember to report your harvest within seven days.

-Small Game Hunting-

-Waterfowl Hunting-

  • September 25: Final Day for Canada Goose Hunting in Several Areas of the State. (view map of hunting areas)
safety instruction with firearms
Trained and certified sportsman education instructors
will teach you safe and responsible practices while
out in the field

Sign up for a Sportsman Safety Education Class Today!

Interested in going out to hunt and trap for the first time? If so, make sure you sign up for a free safety education course at an area close to you. New York State requires first-time hunters or trappers to take and pass one or more of these courses before receiving a sportsman license. Details and course requirements are listed on the Sportsman Education web-page, or you can check out a list of classes (External Link) available throughout the state. Classes fill up quickly, so make sure you sign up today!

Other News in the Press

Below are additional links to noteworthy DEC press releases:

  • DEC Begins 90-Day Public Comment Period on Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Study
  • ECO Anthony Panipinto Honored As Top New York Wildlife Conservation Officer

Did You Know...?

black bear
Photo: Bill Banaszewski

Prior to hibernating for the winter, black bears accumulate fat by eating high energy foods such as acorns, beechnuts, hazelnuts, cherries, apples, and mountain ash. When acorn production is high, an adult male can gain over 100 pounds in a few weeks.

Get more facts on the second largest mammal in New York!

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